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CDC concerned UK coronavirus variant may be dominant in US by March

While considered more infectious than the virus that’s been causing the bulk of US cases so far, there’s no evidence the variant causes more severe illness.

NEW YORK — Health officials say by March, a new and more infectious variant of coronavirus — first found in the United Kingdom — will likely become the dominant variant in the United States.

The UK variant currently is in 12 states but has been diagnosed in only 76 of the 23 million US cases reported to date. 

However, it’s likely that version of the virus is more widespread in the US than is currently reported, according to scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While it’s considered more infectious than the virus that’s been causing the bulk of U.S. cases so far, there’s no evidence that it causes more severe illness or is transmitted differently. 

Therefore, mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing and other prevention strategies can still work, the CDC says.

Credit: AP
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins (right) apologizes to people waiting in a long line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Fair Park on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, in Dallas. Dallas County launched its first "mega" public COVID-19 vaccination site Monday at Fair Park. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

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